Here is a true or false exam...
What will happen if you take twelve college sports management students, give them seven days advance notice (Ok maybe five) provide them with a map, tell them they have to get to an event on their own in NYC and they absolutely have to be there exactly at 12:30pm on a Saturday, tell them the event is going to be chaotic so be flexible, attendees may not be nice and be willing to do whatever is asked, eat before you get there and remember to have fun because this is the sports business.
True or False...they all show up on time and do exactly what we asked them to do?
If you're thinking FALSE this generation doesn't want to work and has no drive...wrongo!
In fact they were waiting for me to arrive.
There is nothing more rewarding than being around young adults who are incredibly eager to learn and experience life and more importantly, follow direction.
I wanted to give them not only a unique opportunity to work an event for the NBA which they hopefully will be able to tell this story on an interview, but gain practical experience working in the sports industry. It's drastically different than being a fan.
Sitting in class listening to an old guy like me tell them what it was like in my day....zzzzzzzzz is never that intriguing, but to get in there and figure it out when it's loud, hot and chaotic. That is when the magic happens.
The proud moment of watching them jump right in, ask the right questions and take over is when I know they applied lessons they learned from the amazing sports management professors at the University of New Haven (That plug was for a free lunch).
Experiential learning, which is the core of the educational process at UNH, is vital to arming all students with the tools that will help them land their first job in the industry.
So if you answered TRUE... thank you. Young adults aren't all lazy or unmotivated. In fact they are incredibly aware of the world and opportunities more so than I ever was at their age. You might be confusing unmotivated with them being bored or uninterested.
They will continue to push us as educators, coaches and administrators to think bigger, become more aware of the ever changing way they communicate, learn and set goals.
Now if I could only figure out this GPS thing to drive out of NYC....
Leave a comment below and tell us your perspective on practical real life experience for college students.
Rob Thompson 25+ year sports and entertainment executive and current Associate Director of Athletic Development at The University of New Haven.